July 23, 2003

The Liberty Bell

We stood staring, speechless,
with a rope stretched out between us
and the bell
in that Philidelphia display
and calmly took in the sight and sounds
and the explanations of this hallowed ground
and the time from Then to Now seemed like a day.

Outside bells were soft and heavy
one swing of the hammer for each and every
freedom twisted,
turned into an excuse for subtle violence
Inside we'd stopped to stare
]into a crack that had broken there
and the bell was worshipped in it's regal silence.

but beyond the door the volume was rising
carelessness ringing and uncomproming
tempting talking heads with too much science.
deafening violent pounding
sounded like it was surrounding us
and the bell before us sat in regal silence.

there were bells for toil without vocation
bells of miscommunication
bells of lies and dirty tricks
bells for pawns of politics
bells for the innocent accused
bells for feet that got no shoes
bells for dead and buried slaves
bells for unknown soldiers' graves
bells of darkness without dawn
bells for the many thousand gone
bells for an unlatched caboose frozen in it's tracks
bells for an uptight teenage mother who just cannot relax
bells ringing for the years that we've thrown away
guess I'm doin' better than my neighbor, but I'm not okay
there's a vision in my eyes that's flashing by so fast
there's a bum on his knees only praying for the past
I see kids kids in schoolyards that're too scared to say "no"
and a teacher too frightened of tomorrow to learn anymore...

Then the tolling beyond the hall
began to cease it's sound and quiet down again
and the room was hushed in our confused evaluation.
then we turned to that bell before us
and staring in an opti-chorus
waited for it's response in great anticipation..

Not an inch did it's hammer swing
It didn't seem to do anything
Not one single sound rang out in our Liberty's defense.
With our hands hidden in our pockets
it's mighty iron hull stood solid
and was worshipped in it's regal silence.

Posted by Tuning Spork at July 23, 2003 11:37 PM
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